August 16, 2008

Talking About Travel in Portuguese

Quanto tempo! (= long time no see, lit. "how much time!"). Although I don't think I have much of a regular following (yet?), I feel I should appologize for my long absence. I have been camping and hiking in somewhat remote places (part of a road trip from LA to New York City), unable to post any Portuguese wisdom. Now that I have the basics (a cell phone connection and a power supply), we are ready for a special travel edition (i.e., basic with no links, as I am typing this from a cell phone).

In this post, you can learn some new expressions with a conversation (see what you understand on your own first, then look at the notes on new expressions... only then look at the translation... then practice!):


Ananda: - Dan, você prefere viajar de carro ou de avião?
Dan: - Ah, depende. Dirigir é legal... mas não se a distância é muito longa...
Ananda: - É mesmo... mas eu não gosto de tomar 'chá de aeroporto'...
Dan: - É... fazer o check in, as filas, preocupação com a segurança, bagagem... muito chato!
Ananda: - ...e de carro dá para ver a paisagem, parar para ver lugares diferentes...
Dan: ... Vamos dirigir até Nova Iorque, em vez de ir de avião?
Ananda: - Bora!


  • Tomar chá de aeroporto literally means "to have airport tea" is a slang expression which means to have to wait around the airport. Another common variant (even more common) of this expression is tomar chá de cadeira ("to drink chair tea"), meaning to be made to sit down and wait around (for example while waiting for a doctor's appointment or for a friend who is late).
  • Bora! - is derived from vamos embora (let's go (away)) and it means "let's go" or "let's do it". You can combine it with other verbs to mean "let's do X" (where X is the verb). For example, "bora comer" means, "let's eat".


Ananda: - Dan, do you prefer traveling by car or by plane?
Dan: - Oh, it depends. Driving is nice... but not if the distance is very long...
Ananda: - That's right... but I don't like having to wait around at the airport [see glossary].
Dan: - Yeah... doing the check in, the lines, worry about security, luggage... very annoying!
Ananda: = and by car one can see the view, stop to see different places...
Dan: - Let's drive to New York rather than going by plane?
Ananda: - Let's do it!

E você: prefere veiajar de avião ou de carro?


  1. This is really helpful, thanks! Eu prefero viajar de carro. I think it's much more fun to be able to see in detail where you are going and where you have been. You can also stop when you want to take pictures along the way.

    My only questions regarding the text:

    1) I'm not sure how this part of the 2nd line is constructed: "mas não se a"

    2) In what context can "até" be used?

    Thanks again for the help!

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Que legal! Eu também prefiro viajar de carro!

    Thanks for coming by again and for the great questions. Here are some brief answers:

    1)A word by word translation may help: "but not if the" ("traveling by car is nice, but not if the distance is long")

    2) "Até" means "until", so Dan says "drive until New York" (rather than drive to New York). More similarly to English, you can also say "até amanhã"...

    Hope this helps!

    Até logo!


  3. Olá Ananda,

    Your blog is a lot of fun and educational!

    In the above dialoge, Dan says, "Vamos dirigir até Nova lorque, em vez de ir de carro"

    But shouldn't it read "...vez de ir de avião"?

    Thanks! Até logo.


  4. Oi Thomas!

    Obrigada pelo comentário e pela correção! Já arrumei.

    Até logo!



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